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Bob Flynn Interview

Date Interviewed: July 12, 2015

GG: For those who don't know, can you familiarize us with what you do for SpongeBob Comics?

Bob: I’ve been writing and drawing these comics on-and-off for several years, going back to the Nickelodeon Magazine days. So yeah, I’m writing, drawing, inking, and coloring most of them start to finish. I haven’t gotten around to doing as many as I would like to because I’m juggling so many things (freelance), but every time I dive into a new comic I feel right at home.

GG: What other comics or cartoons do you work on?

Bob: I’ve done a couple covers for other properties (Bravest Warriors, Uncle Grandpa, Over the Garden Wall), but as far as comics go I’m either working on SpongeBob or my own comics. My own stuff is mostly self-published‚ a lot of bring it to a copy shop mini-comics. Going back I co-created a series of books called Heeby Jeeby Comix with Chris Houghton, David DeGrand, and Dan Moynihan. You know David’s SpongeBob work (he’s great!)—we first met working on Heeby Jeebytogether. Lots of bizarre goofy stories from David. I’m pretty sure all of our comics are still online: ( We got up to 4 issues before each of us got too busy. The idea there was to carry on with the Nick Mag tradition, creating weird funny comics for kids. I’m often tabling at comics shows with Dan Moynihan in New England.
As far as cartoons go, I’ve been working as lead character design for Bravest Warriors for 3 seasons. Fans of the show will know characters like Catbug and Impossibear…I played a key role designing those little dudes.

GG: How long have you been drawing and writing?

Bob: Drawing for as long as I remember. I started combining the two in comics when I was a kid. I had newspaper strips all throughout my school days. Didn’t really switch into my current mode until 6-7 years ago…self-publishing and attending festivals.

GG: Was this something you wanted to do your whole life?

Bob: Sure! Where do I sign up?

GG: What is a typical day of cartooning like for you?

Bob: I have a full-time gig at FableVision Studios in Boston as animation and art director. That keeps me very busy—I pick pick up cartooning as freelance. When I’m working on a comic, it would either be a mix of penciling, writing, inking or coloring. No day is the same. On SpongeBob, there’s a lot of back and forth (goofing, often productive!) with my editor, Chris Duffy.

GG: How long does a normal story take to write?

Bob: Oh this varies immensely. With SpongeBob maybe less time because I’m usually on a deadline, but I’ve let some comic stories bake in my brain for a couple years before they come together. Normally if I really dig in on something it comes together okay. Endings are always the snag.

GG: Have you ever scrapped a story after you started working on it?

Bob: Yes, plenty! In the concept stage. If I don’t like it, why draw it.

GG: Are there comics you read as a child that inspire you today?

Bob: I can rattle off the few big ones: Calvin and Hobbes being at the top. I read a fair amount of Garfield and Peanuts. Far Side. Most of what directly inspires me now I picked up later, after college. I’m currently going back and reading a lot of Donald Duck comics by Carl Barks, for example.

GG: What's your favorite story you have written so far, and why?

Bob: There’s a short Brain comic I created, which you can read online ( It’s a wordless comic that I created with kids in mind, featuring a Brain character I doodle a lot. If you’re talking SpongeBob, it would have to be my latest in #46. Which is odd in a way because it has tons of dialogue. I guess I’m increasingly interested in writing both ways. Each lend themselves to different types of storytelling that comics can accommodate amazingly well. The story inside of Gary was a fun one to draw (Issue #37), as was the camping spread I did a couple years back (Issue #22).

GG: Who's your favorite character to draw or write stories for?

Bob: SpongeBob, of course. He’s primed to be fun to draw. Squidward is fun to write for, too. I probably identify equally with both of them. I need to work Bubble Bass into more stories. He’s the best. The characters in the show are so easy to make expressive.

GG: Which character is the hardest to draw or write for?

Bob: I would invite any character into a story. Part of me thinks Mrs. Puff would be tough? But I’m sure she has a weird story in her. Bubble Buddy? Even he (it?) would be cool to do a comic about.

GG: Reading an old blog post, I found you had been drawing Mola Molas since before SpongeBob comics even started. Is this a story you had always wanted to write, and if so did you ever even expect it to be in the comic?

Bob: Ha! You did your homework. It’s probably worth mentioning said blog post (, but to sum it up… I’ve had an ongoing fascination with the ocean sunfish (Mola Mola) since I was a kid. I only sort of recently starting drawing them. It’s a complicated relationship…a mix of genuine love/fascination and complete revulsion—and FEAR. The pirate at the beginning of Issue #46 is basically me. When I was asked if I’d like to write a longer SpongeBob story, it was one of the early ideas that came to me. This is a SpongeBob story from start to finish… the idea of a giant Mola Mola being so big that it would eclipse the sun in Bikini Bottom, and that SpongeBob would inevitably end up inside the beast. I come out softer on Molas than I expected…ha. I kind of like that people may learn about them for the first time when they read the comic. Maris Wicks follows my story with an excellent marine science comic about them. She’s the best!

GG: Thanks again for doing this interview with us. Do you have any final words or anything for us to look out for in the future?

Bob: Hey, I’d first like to say that I really appreciate the attention you guys give to these comics. We all put a lot of work into them. It’s always great to know there are people out their appreciating and enjoying the work we do. No final words except that I hope to get going on even more SpongeBob comics shortly. I think the format really lends itself to the characters in a different way than the animated cartoon does. I’m looking to explore that more. —Thanks!